Thursday, June 20, 2024

Gisborne gardens signage hit by vandals

At least nine storyboard signs in Gisborne’s Botanical Gardens were vandalised over the weekend, just a day after being erected.

The Hīkoi Kōrero Story Walk was established to celebrate Parks Week 2022, which runs nationally from March 5-13.

Parks Week encourages people to visit their parks and open spaces for physical health as well as mental wellbeing.

The signs were dotted along one of the paths at the Botanical Gardens to make it accessible for everyone to enjoy, Gisborne District Council said in a statement.

They told the children’s story Taniwha, written and illustrated by Robyn Kahukiwa – New Zealand artist and award-winning children’s book author – with te reo on the storyboards translated by the late Keri Kaa.

Council cultural activities manager, Pene Walsh says they hope to have the boards back up in the next couple of days.

“In the meantime, there is live storytelling for little ones at the Botanical Gardens which is still happening. This is on from tomorrow (Tuesday) until Friday from 10.30 to 11am. We’ll carry on with that, weather permitting, and we’ll work hard to put the storyboards back up to keep celebrating Parks Week in our community.”

Council’s liveable communities acting director, De-Arne Sutherland says the Story Walk was meant to bring fun and joy for the local community during Parks Week.

“Council’s library and parks team worked hard to pull this all together,” said Ms Sutherland.

“It’s incredibly frustrating to see these senseless acts from a few ruining what was meant to be a fun family experience for our community.

“Our community wants nice things, but time and time again our assets are vandalised or destroyed. If anyone knows anything we would be very keen to hear from you.”

HB Williams Library introduced the storyboards to Gisborne last October, when the first Hīkoi Kōrero StoryWalk® went up along the banks of the Taruheru River as part of Te Tairāwhiti Arts Festival.

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